"JESUS, KEEP ME PURE AND HOLY"
"…Keep thyself pure" (1 Tim. 5.22)
INTRO.: A song which encourages us to look to Jesus to help us keep ourselves pure is "Jesus, Keep Me Pure and Holy." The text was written and the tune was composed both by Austin Taylor, who was born on Oct. 14, 1881, in Morgantown, KY, and died in 1973 at Uvalde, TX, where he had lived for many years. Robert Welch lived and preached at Uvalde for several years and came to know brother Taylor well. Brother Welch wrote of the song, "Jesus, Keep Me Pure and Holy," saying, "One day his wife was raking the big front yard covered with huge live oak trees. Brother Taylor had just come in from downtown and they were sitting and talking in a double seat. She fell over on his shoulder and said, ‘O Austin.’ These were here last words." About a month later, Welch asked Taylor to go with him to sing at a funeral. "But when we got out of the car and were walking to the door of the church building he stopped me and said, ‘They don’t need my singing.’ I knew his problem and left it there. I wonder if the words of one of his songs was in his mind at that moment." I have not been able to find any information about when or where this song was published. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared in the 1959 Majestic Hymnal No. 2 and the 1978 Hymns of Praise both edited by Reuel Lemmons. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church edited by Alton H. Howard.
The song reminds us of the importance of keeping ourselves holy and explains how we can do this.
I. Stanza 1 points out that being pure and holy is dependent on Jesus’s love
"Jesus, Savior, dear Redeemer, Precious is Thy love to me;
‘Neath Thy sheltering wings abiding, Savior, let me ever be."
A. Because all have sinned, we can be pure and holy only when we are saved from our sins, and Jesus came to be our Savior: Lk. 2:11
B. He did this because of His great love for us: Eph. 5:2
C. Therefore, He makes it possible for us to dwell beneath His sheltering wings: Ps. 57:1
II. Stanza 2 points out that being pure and holy requires that we bring our troubles to Jesus
"Let me come when I am weary To Thy fount of healing balm;
Let me bring to Thee my troubles, For with Thee my soul is calm."
A. Jesus invites all who are weary and heavy laden to come to Him: Matt. 11:28-30
B. He has provided a fountain of healing balm for our sins: Zech. 13:1
C. Therefore, we can bring our troubles and cares to cast them on Him that we might be pure: 1 Pet. 5:7
III. Stanza 3 points out that being pure and holy demands that we turn to Christ’s word
"All the world is drear without Thee; All the days are turned to night,
Till Thy Word, a flood of glory, Shines within its golden light."
A. The world is a dreary place and is pictured as something which we must not love: 1 Jn. 2:15-17
B. The days are turned to night, which is a symbol of the sin and evil in the world: 1 Thess. 5:7-8
C. However, the word of the Lord brings light to our lives to help keep us pure: Ps. 119:105
IV. Stanza 4 points out that being pure and holy is motivated by the desire to be with Christ in heaven
"Savior, may I never wander, Never wander from Thy side;
When the evening shadows gather, Let Thy peace on me abide."
A. The Lord does not want us to wander either to the right or the left of His appointed pathway: Josh. 1:7
B. Someday the evening shadows will gather and our lives will end in death: Heb. 9:27
C. To help motivate us to remain pure even until death, God gives us the promise that He will abide with us and that we can dwell in His house forever: Ps. 23:6
CONCL.: The chorus asks the Lord to help keep us pure and holy for Him.
"Jesus, keep me pure and holy; Keep my tongue Thy love to tell.
When this life of toil is ended, Take me home with Thee to dwell."
Nothing that is defiled or tainted by sin will enter heaven. Yet, we all have sinned. However, God’s grace has made it possible for me to be purified from my sins and justified in His sight. But I must strive to remain free from sin. Therefore, I should constantly be asking, "Jesus, Keep Me Pure and Holy."